Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cherry-picking anti-gun material

The latest approach of the anti-Second-Amendment and anti-gun brigade seems to be to point out how difficult it is to use a handgun appropriately and effectively.  The Washington Post reports:

The study was commissioned by the National Gun Victims Action Council, an advocacy group devoted to enacting "sensible gun laws" that "find common ground between legal gun owners and non-gun owners that minimizes gun violence in our culture." The study found that proper training and education are key to successfully using a firearm in self-defense: "carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level," the authors wrote in a statement.

They recruited 77 volunteers with varying levels of firearm experience and training, and had each of them participate in simulations of three different scenarios using the firearms training simulator at the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland. The first scenario involved a carjacking, the second an armed robbery in a convenience store, and the third a case of suspected larceny.

They found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, people without firearms training performed poorly in the scenarios. They didn't take cover. They didn't attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy -- they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough -- they didn't shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at.

There's more at the link.

It's nonsense, of course.  First the WaPo trots out the same old lying 'statistics' about 'more guns lead to more gun homicides -- not less' and 'guns are rarely used in self-defense' (all of which have been resoundingly debunked, but anti-gunners will never admit that).  Then they try to tack on claims like those above - ignoring the reality that the mere display of a weapon by the intended victim is often enough to drive away a criminal predator without a shot being fired.  What's more, there's abundant evidence from news reports and police files to prove that ordinary citizens successfully defend themselves, their loved ones and their property thousands of times every year using firearms.  The study cited above completely ignores such evidence.

Of course, I'm not opposed to everyone getting firearms training - in fact, I think it's an excellent idea.  I've been through half a dozen week-long shooting courses since coming to the USA, and learned a great deal from them (over and above what I learned during my military training and experience, and later civilian firearms training, in South Africa).  However, many people don't have the time or the money to participate in such training.  Are the authors of this latest study suggesting they should be disarmed because of that?  Why should they be penalized for something beyond their control?  The Second Amendment never speaks of qualifications at all - only a right that 'shall not be infringed'.  Any attempt to tie that right to training would, IMHO, represent an infringement.

The situation is actually very simple.  Some people believe that the thing is the problem.  They ascribe morals, motives and opportunity to an inanimate object.  It's 'the gun' that's the problem, rather than the person wielding it.  That's a lie, of course.  Consider:

  • If a drunk driver runs over a pedestrian, we don't charge his vehicle with a crime - we charge him.
  • If a contractor erects a shoddy building, and the facade later falls off and kills or injures someone passing below, we don't charge the fallen rubble with a crime - we charge the person or persons who caused the problem.
  • If a murderer shoots someone, we don't charge his gun with a crime - we charge him.

To say that 'guns are the problem' ignores that reality.  A hammer can be a useful tool to drive a nail, or it can cave in someone's skull.  It has no moral volition of its own;  it can't choose how and when and where and for what purpose it's going to be used.  A gun is precisely the same.  It can be used to shoot targets, or be carried on the hip of a police officer to keep the peace and enforce the law, or be used to commit robbery or murder.  The gun itself is not the problem - and if it wasn't available, the criminal class would find other tools to use in their crimes (just as they did for millennia before the gun was invented).  To outlaw guns, or restrict their availability, won't outlaw or restrict crime at all.

All too often, 'sensible gun laws' morph into 'any excuse we can find to disarm law-abiding citizens'.  That's not about to happen where most of us are concerned.



Divemedic said...

"Failing to issue commands to their assailants" doesn't mean that the victim couldn't use a firearm for self defense. That is a procedural issue akin to claiming that because a person who has never played American football and doesn't know what a post pattern is can't effectively run away from an assailant.
One example used was a trained cop drawing his gun, taking cover, and issuing verbal commands to the would-be carjacker. They they show a video of a citizen failing to do the same. Watching the video, I didn't see the cop take cover, and who cares if a private citizen issues commands? The private citizen isn't trying to arrest the attacker, only defend his own life.

Old NFO said...

That's why we call it the Washington Fish Wrap... sigh

Nate Winchester said...

Watch out, that's just shoddy logic as proven by one of the nation's premiere Catholics. ;-P

Of course when you point out that there might be more uses for guns than you can think of the anti side usually gets even angrier.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

Whenever I hear "sensible" and "Common Ground" gun laws between anti's and 2nd amendment...I throw the B.S. flag. The anti's ain't giving up anything...rather than getting the whole cake...they get several slices...they still get something and we lose something. I am fed up enough I ain't giving up anymore...we have compromised and compromised until we are blue in the face...and they come back for "more sensible" will never end until we are totally disarmed...

Anonymous said...

Their video (the one floating around facebook) contrasts how LEO and civilians (leaving aside that civilian used to be everybody not under ucmj) run through a simulator. At 29 seconds in they flash a title saying no carjacker would attack a uniformed officer but here's our simulation and note how he survives because he has "professional" "training" and apparently they didnt get the memo after Boston about all the cops who were targeted and murdered in their patrol cars. And that's just one dropping of derp in a whole mountain. It's not a "study" it's grassroots lobbying. Like a push poll.... -BoydK

Uncle Lar said...

The anti gun progressive left found themselves in a quandry. There are a minimum of 500k defensive gun cases each year by FBI numbers. Other estimates reach as high as 2.5 million, as many are never officially reported. So what's a committed leftie to do? Simple, just declare that it's only a legitimate defensive use if the victim kills their attacker. Yet another typical case of the lib progs moving goal posts and changing rules on the fly when the debate doesn't go their way.
The UK has the kind of gun control laws our antis lust after. No handguns at all. Long arms severely restricted. Yet per 2010 UN crime statistics the UK has a violent crime rate five times what we see here in gun ridden America.
As for incremental new restrictions: background checks on all transfers, universal registration, mandatory training, and such; each and every one is something that they can sell as sensible, but all are intended to move the debate ever closer to their real goal, complete and total bans for everyone except a chosen few.

Chuck-K said...

Knives have killed more people longer than Guns.

m4 said...

I know this is pretty out there, but have you considered contacting WP and telling them that they're complete fu- maybe not as right as they think they are? No never mind, you'd probably have to excessively polite and use a lot of effort to probably get no result.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

There is an issue that needs to be addressed before we talk about whether guns are good defense against crime, or which gun control laws are "reasonable".

The Second Amendment says that the right to keep and bear arms "Shall not be infringed". We know, because the debates on the Bill of Rights were well documented, that the men who wrote that law and voted for it meant it to ensure that the common citizen had easy, legal access to military grade weapons.

Now, that may be a bad idea. The Constitution includes several. Which is why the Constitution includes a specific process for Amendment.

The Gun Grabbers need to propose an Amendment. If they don't, if they are not willing to go through the process, then they are scofflaws.

I do not own a gun. I do not expect to own a gun in the future. I DO want to live in a Nation that follows its own laws. I do NOT want to live in a Nation that is willing to compromise its most fundamental laws because a certain political faction thinks it know better and doesn't want to do any heavy lifting.

We need to start telling the Bloomburgs "Play by the rules, or shut up."

Chris said...

I have been hearing a radio commercial for Hartford Insurance for a few weeks now that has the same attitude. It was the object left laying around that caused someone to trip and fall, etc. It goes on to imply that, "these can't be prevented." BS! The company I work for has "Be Safe" as their motto, and encourages us to be very proactive about safety. Pick it up, clean it up, report potential problems, etc., to the extent that we are encouraged to refuse to enter an area or engage in an activity that we reasonably consider to be unsafe.

Guns are no different. Learn how to safely handle them, and never violate the four rules, and the odds get pretty long that you will have a negligent discharge, much less an "accident". Using a gun in a defensive situation is no different: if you have never had professional training, your odds of success depend on the courage of your attacker.

Will said...

Typical leftist thinking: if you can't do it perfectly, you shouldn't be allowed to do it at all. Leave it to the "professionals".

Anonymous said...

Specifically the "professionals" they control. You know, the ones who flashbang maim babies in their cribs and burn down homes with children inside to arrest those they don't like.
It's not about gun control it"s about people control and always has been.

Anonymous said...

Many of us have learned by now that discussion with the grabbers goes nowhere. Here's an approach/response more and more of us are using. Mike Vanderboegh's "I will not comply" activities also demonstrate that some of these new laws and regulations can't be enforced in the face of determined, active opposition.



MadMcAl said...

Actually sensible gun laws are not something bad.

The point of argue is, what are sensible gun laws.

For me (not a US citizen) sensible gun laws impede the illegal access to and/or use of guns.

To that extend, everybody trying to buy a gun has to prove he has not lost the right to do so.
Losing said right is done by either being convicted of any crime or by declared (by a judge) a potential danger for oneself or others (meaning mentally health problems like depression, psychosis or alcoholism).
For that the potential buyer has to get a license to buy a weapon and has to show it to the seller (similar to the drivers license).
Only for the gun not the amunition.
Said license has to be given to anybody who has not been disqualified for it (and the rules what disqualify somebody from weapon owner ship have to be defined exact. For example temporary grief driven insanity does not disqualify the person, at least not permanently).
If, at an later date the license owner is disqualified his/her license will be revoked and s/he will be notified and any weapons have to be secured (it should still be possible to have weapons at a gun range, but not possible to take them out there).
If a person is charged with a felony his/her license has to be suspended.

Every gun has to be registered. There has to be a ballistic profile on file. The owner is responsible to secure the gun in a way that impedes theft, or unqualified persons (like for example children) getting to them. Should a gun be stolen the police has to be informed immediately after the owner finds out the fact (the next morning is enough, but 2 days later is already to late).

Carry permits (either concealed or open) have to be issued if the gun owner qualifies for a normal gun owner license and s/he qualifies in a certified firearm training course (and said training course does not have to be local, so the Chicago way of outlawing the courses won't work).

Anybody found with an illegal firearm (either no license or not registered) will be charged with attempted murder (with the rationale that an illegal firearm is carried around only to commit a crime, and as firearms are meant to wound or kill somebody the crime in question is to be assumed murder).
Somebody who gives a firearm knowingly to a person without or with an suspended license will be charged with accessory to attempted murder.

Gun free zones are regulated insofar as that the person or organization declaring the gun free zone enforces it. That means armed security personnel at all entries of said zone.
If there is no checkpoint the gun free zone is automatically invalid.

Weapons that are essentially military in their nature need a special license that is not an automatic right.
This are for example fully automatic weapons, .5 caliber anti material rifles, grenade launchers, rocket launchers etc.
Nobody can really argue for any use of these weapons that a civilian has. Exceptions may be rural areas where Grizzlies, Icebears or Kodiaks are common (there a .5 may be a good idea).

Of course, if the government gets the "glorious" idea to confiscate all weapons nothing is sensible anymore.

Will said...


Most of what you want done is subject to misuse by the government. They absolutely DON'T need to know what people own.

Ballistics testing: most of what you think you know about this subject is bullshit from entertainment. It was recently discovered that the FBI lies about most of what it does. (they fake it, apparently)

The entire purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to deter government. That is why the founders expected people to be armed with the same weapons as the military.

Your thinking is very much based on being a subject, not a citizen. That is why this country was founded, and it remains the major difference between the USA and the rest of the world.

MadMcAl said...

Will, you seem to have overlooked my last sentence.

And what I wrote is geared to get tools into the hand of a (honest) law enforcement to get guns out of the hands of criminals and maniacs.

The weapon registration has only the point that the law can prove that a gun they caught a suspect with is illegal.

The ballistic profile is only for proving that the gun that was used in a crime belonged to a suspect.

If not for that, I would simply take the license to own a gun without any gun registering, but that is sadly necessary.

Now, to rephrase my last sentence, when you can't trust your own government anymore, no law is sensible, as any law, any regulation regardless of the subject gives the government more power you don't want it to have.

About the difference between a citizen and a subject, you are somewhat arrogant, don't you think?
The US is anything but a shining light of freedom anymore.
People in quite a few other countries enjoy similar if not more freedoms.
And what some people seem to forget, the ultimate form of freedom is anarchy and the law of the jungle.
So anything that makes it harder for bullies and tyrants to rule encroaches some freedoms.
The point is to find a balance.
And you in the US have lost that balance.